Miles Jupp on Being Too Fit
The actor and comedian on the very real dangers of vaulting toilet barriers when you don’t know your own strength
How do you avoid the lure of the service station pasty?
I try to stop at a service station that has a supermarket – on the signs now, it says whether it has an M&S or whatever, so you can be slightly more choosy. Either way, I’ll get some nice picnic food, but there’s always a quarter of an inch of oil at the bottom. I think I’m being very sensible – I’m having calamari in a salad – but actually I’m just getting oil all over the seats.
Have you ever pulled a muscle in less-than-heroic circumstances?
I had to have a back massage quite recently, because I was eating a takeaway on the sofa and leaning over onto a low table – I was multi-tasking, eating and watching a DVD. When I’d finished and I got up to clear the plates, I realised that something in my back had clicked out.
I also had to go to hospital once because I hit myself in the eye with my own mobile phone charger. It’s a very pathetic thing to find yourself in A&E, where everyone has had an overdose or something, and you’ve just got a bad blink because of a plug.
Which excuse for not going to the gym/working out are you most ashamed of?
It’s just I’m ashamed of my years of physical laziness. You think, “I couldn’t possibly do it,” but actually you’ve got time for most things you need to do. So it’s actually a wide-ranging shame – I don’t really have an excuse for not running 20 miles every week, I can always find a way. Just get up an hour earlier… they’re not even real excuses.
Have you ever ordered healthily in a restaurant but then scoffed someone else’s chips?
I remember once being in France with some friends and I’d decided I wasn’t going to have any carbs. It’s quite easy to do in France because you just have huge amounts of cheese and meat – is that healthy? I don’t know. But everyone else would have chips, and I’d end up eating one of each person’s chips at every meal.
Have you ever secretly impressed yourself with a feat of strength?
I used to have a personal trainer and see him three times a week – I got to a point where I didn’t realise I’d got myself into reasonable nick. I’d been on a train that got stuck, and there was no toilet on it so I was bursting when I got to the station. I didn’t have money for the loo, so I thought, “I’m just going to have to jump over the barrier,” and whenever I’ve seen someone do it before, it looked like something that requires loads of effort. So I took a run up and put in 85% more effort than it turned out it needed, and I went absolutely flying, completely cleared it and crashed into the wall on the other size. I can’t behave like that every night of the week.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I’m very naughty about giving any excuse to eat out. I’ll say to the wife: “It’s a nice day, the children have had a good time, we should take them out for fish and chips.” Or: “It’s been a bit wet today, why don’t we get a takeaway?” I used to live a few doors down from a fantastic takeaway – I’d go out in the garden and smell them starting to cook, so by 10 in the morning, I already wanted one.
Do you use any fitness apps?
I use the one that comes with the iPhone, that measures your paces and stuff. Also, in my local leisure centre there’s some sort of complicated key fob thing that I put into each machine. Then when I sign out at the end of the session it tells me if I’ve trained like an athlete or a super-athlete, although it’s all slightly cumbersome.
How often do you take selfies in the gym?
I can’t imagine a circumstance in which I’d think it would be a good idea to take a gym selfie. If I was in the gym and someone else was taking one and I realised there was any chance of me being in it, I would duck out of it, even if I had to hurl myself off an exercise bike or get a pensioner and pull them in front of me. I suppose athletes have them on their Instagram feed, but it’s part of their job being fit. It’d be like people posting pictures of them photocopying – you’re at work, of course you’re photocopying…
Miles Jupp’s UK tour, Songs Of Freedom, begins September 7 at Milton Keynes Stables. For full tour information please visit milesjupp.co.uk
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Gary Ogden wrote for the print edition of Coach between 2015 and 2016, writing features, interviewing celebrities and covering entertainment. He has also written for ShortList.